The Architectural Association (AA) School of Architecture in London has named New York–based architect and curator Eva Franch i Gilabert as its new director, making her the school's first female director. Franch was selected from a list of contenders that included architect Pippo Ciorra, senior curator of MAXXI Architettura in Rome, and architect Robert Mull, head of School of Architecture and Design at the University of Brighton in the U.K. Following an election voted on by AA students, faculty, staff, and Council members, Franch won a majority vote of 67 percent—the highest majority vote ever won in an election since 1990, according to a press release. She succeeds the school's former director Brett Steele (current dean of UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture) and current interim director Samantha Hardingham.

Franch has a MArch. I from the Barcelona School of Architecture and a MArch. II from Princeton University in New Jersey. She has served as a member of international juries and advisory boards, including the MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program. In 2013, Franch, along with Praxis journal co-founder Ashley Schafer, and MIT associate professor of architecture Ana Miljački were appointed to design the U.S. exhibition for the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, by the U.S. Department of State. For the past eight years, she has served as the chief curator and executive director of New York–based nonprofit organization Storefront for Art and Architecture and is currently an associate professor at the Cooper Union Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture. In the past, she has taught at the Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation in New York; the Università Iuav di Venezia in Venice, Italy; the State University of New York at Buffalo, N.Y.; and the Rice University School of Architecture in Houston.

The Architectural Association's council has yet to formally announce the appointment of Franch as the new director and is currently carrying out the contractual negotiations.